3624 people living with HIV in Himachal, lack quality of life, are in need of financial assistance

SHIMLA-  A delegation of MAMTA, HPVHA, CSC Shimla and People Living with HIV (PLHIV) community met with Health Minister Kaul Singh Thakur to discuss the issues and needs of PLHIVs. The meeting was organized under project Vihaan which aims at bringing qualitative improvement in the life of PLHIVs.

The representative informed that at present 3624 people living with HIV (PLHIV) are living in Himachal Pradesh who are on Active care with Govt. ART centres of the state. Above mentioned 3624 people comprises of 36 % female, 55% male, 1% TG and 8% children below 15 years.

Sukhwinder Singh, HIV/TB Coordinator shared that People living with HIV (PLHIV) and their family has to undergo severe socio-economic stress like psychological , increased opportunistic infection , rise in medical expenses, loss of jobs and income, depletion of savings, food insecurity, stigma and discrimination, social exclusion and morbidity. In India many states are providing free transport, financial assistance and Subsidized ration to PLHIVs like Chandigarh, Punjab, Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir etc.

Considering the hardship, of PLHIV the following issues were put forward for kind consideration of health minister

To implement HIV/AIDS workplace policy in the state. To provide subsidized ration to people living with HIV (PLHIVs) and their families through National Food Security scheme. To make provision of financial assistance (pension) to PLHIVs.

Ramesh Badrel, PO HPVHA shared the initiative taken by CSC team and PLHIVs shared their concern regarding financial and nutrition support. It was decided that Kaul Singh Thakur will chair the State level advocacy meeting for discussing the need of PLHIVs for nutrition and financial support in Himachal Pradesh. The date for state level advocacy meeting is proposed on 10th August 2016 at Hotel Holiday home, Shimla. Present in meeting were Parveen Kumar, Project Coordinator CSC Shimla, CSC staff and representative from PLHIV community.

Photo: The Better India/Representational Image

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